Reduced frequency of percutaneous injuries in surgeons: 1993 versus 1988

AIDS. 1995 Feb;9(2):199-202.


Objective: To compare the frequency of occupational injuries reported by surgeons in 1993 with similar data obtained in 1988.

Design and setting: Two point-prevalence studies of percutaneous injuries of surgeons practicing in tertiary and non-tertiary-care hospitals in the New York metropolitan area.

Participants: A total of 202 surgeons and surgical residents surveyed in 1988 and 347 surveyed in 1993 (67 and 65% of the eligible groups, respectively), including 85 surgeons in 1993 (71% of the eligible group) who had participated in the 1988 survey.

Outcome measures: Yearly frequency of percutaneous injuries, and injury frequency per 1000 operative hours.

Results: There was a significant decrease in the frequency of reported percutaneous injuries over the 5-year period. For all surgeons, the mean number of yearly injuries decreased from 5.5 +/- 14.4 SD to 2.1 +/- 6.0 SD (P < or = 0.001). Paired analysis of the subgroup of 85 surgeons who participated in both surveys showed a nearly identical decrease (P = 0.001). Significant decreases were observed in general surgeons, specialists and residents.

Conclusions: During the 5 years studied, surgeons practicing in the greater New York metropolitan area reported a significant reduction in the frequency of occupationally associated percutaneous injuries. The reduced risk of percutaneous injuries should substantially lower the rate of acquired infections from blood-borne pathogens.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • General Surgery*
  • HIV / pathogenicity
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin / injuries*
  • Skin / virology